There’s nothing new under the sun, but you can never stop learning. That’s a paradox of sorts, but it’s true nonetheless. Often, old knowledge in fresh wrappers reveals a unique crisp perspective that can unleash new energy and power.
Here are a few of those new “wrappers” I’ve run across in the past few months. Maybe they will provide a new angle and new energy for you too.
Do it scared!
One of the biggest reasons — read: excuses — people give for not doing something is fear. And even other excuses — “I’m not good enough” or “What will other people think?” or “It’s too risky” — are based in fear. We’ve all been there. Yes, you and me too.
Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and take the next step. You will find anything worth having on the other side of fear. Whatever it is, the best way to get through it is to just get through it! Whatever your task or goal is, put fear aside and do it scared!
You will absolutely find that with each step you take, you shed a little of the heaviness and begin to gain snowball-like momentum.
The 3 things we can control.
There is so much we cannot control today, but often we get distracted and wrapped up in those things that we have no control over. You can’t control change, traffic, weather, time, your past, the economy or other people’s actions, beliefs, words or the way they look at life.
No, in reality, the only things you can impact are your own actions, reactions and mindset.
- Actions. You can choose to stand still, move forward, be proactive, wait for your ship to come in, do chores/not do chores, go to work/stay home. You can also choose to be combative, conciliatory, angry, constructive/destructive. At the end of the day, your level of success in life — work, personal, relationships, business — will be the direct result of your actions. Success, by the way, is not necessarily measured in dollars, but in sense.
- Reactions. This is a big one because this is where many of us get off track. I’ve been there, so have you. Someone says or does something that gets your dander up. Someone doesn’t show up for work and you have to pick up the slack. Someone posts something on Facebook and you’re off and running. A pandemic hits, your company downsizes, a family member gets sick and needs your help or it could be a simple as a flat tire, bad weather coming through or a broken appliance.
You’ve heard it before but Chuck Swindoll says: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.“
- Mindset. Your mindset will control your approach to life. It will also dictate your actions and reactions. Yes, it all begins in your head! This includes your attitude, way of thinking and psyche. Bite your tongue, bounce your eyes and put your headsets on. It gets easier with practice.
Glance backward, focus forward.
There is nothing worth revisiting in the past. Think about that. Now, I didn’t say there aren’t good things in the past, but too many people rest on their laurels or drown in their failures, disappointments or regrets. Today matters!
There’s a reason the windshield of your car is bigger than your rearview mirror. There’s a vast new frontier ahead. Learn from the past, but stay focused on what’s ahead. It’s the only thing you can change, impact or influence.
Urgent? Or just important?
Seth Godin is a veteran blogger and author. Recently, he posed a scenario essentially challenging readers to prioritize their lives. In fact, he suggested taking a half a day in a room without internet, phone and other interruptions to nail down those things. Can you imagine being in a room by yourself — or with a mentor — for half a day with no TV, no cell phone, no books, no interruptions. Nada, nothing?
Seriously, we live in a world that screams loudly all the time. If we aren’t careful, the mundane things become important and the important things suddenly become urgent and our day and week become completely unhinged. Then, we get to the end of the day and become discouraged because “I didn’t get anything done”. As I mentioned above, our mindsets must guard our hearts and our schedules. Not everything is urgent: In fact, very few things are urgent. Similarly, a few things are important.
Urgent means something that requires your immediate attention: A car wreck, a fire, a pending deadline or crisis.
Important means just that: Tasks that are critical and perhaps pressing, but don’t have that the “building’s on fire” urgency. These include schoolwork, tasks at work, reading, writing, exercising, hobbies, family time, parents/kids, long term goals etc.
You may not have half a day to sort through this, but you’ll be amazed if you set aside some specific time in your day or week to sort through these things.
Learn more about managing your priorities with The Eisenhower Decision Matrix. Good stuff right there.
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”